Culture Shock: Zodiac, Psychedelic German, Man Obsessed With Birds

Zodiac: Not The Serial Killer, The Sexy Painting

John Bear
3 min read
An ibis and a duck (John Bear)
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Local artist Katie Calico is working on a series of paintings based on the zodiac, and the results are decidedly titillating.

The paintings and prints are part of the
Sweet, Sweet Cream show that runs until Oct. 18 at The Talking Fountain (4207 Lead SE), a gallery and shop operated by Calico.

“Aquarius Dawning” is a large oil on canvas reminiscent of one of those old black light posters. It features a sultry woman emerging from bubbles. I couldn’t help but roll my Rs at it. Calico is going to paint
Gemini next, which is important because that’s my sign. This is sexy stuff, and it’s available on inexpensive poster prints for those on a tight budget. She also had some hoop girls and burlesque dancer prints available. (

Culture Shock: My Acid Flashback Seems To Have Gotten Loose Again My Acid Flashback Seems To Have Gotten Loose Again

I swear I saw some colors in prints by Martin Denker that only exist in a hallucination. And they are loose.

The German photographer has a series of prints showing at the Richard Levy Gallery (514 Central SE) through Oct. 15.

The prints are decidedly abstract: distorted, unknown images viewed through portals superimposed over them. I couldn’t help but think of a fly’s vision, pixelated, showing multiple vantage points. The photos demand you peer in, even if you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking at. Whatever the images behind the portals are, they have been split through a million prisms before even getting close to the viewer.

Another print shows a tiny, bustling metropolis, but in the same twisted, hallucination-escaped-from-my-brain sort of style.

The word “psychedelic” gets thrown out there too much, but these photos are. They are bright, complicated and fun to scrutinize. It’s amazing what you can do with a digital camera and Photoshop these days. ( )

Culture Shock: Give ’Em The Bird Give ’Em The Bird

An ibis and a duck John Bear
You may be surprised to know that I, John Bear, arts and literature editor, collect paintings of birds. Mostly waterfowl. I also take photographs of birds and spend a lot of time in mosquito-ridden places near bodies of water to get my shots. The bloodsuckers don’t even bother me any more.

I find the images relaxing. Birds don’t overthink. They just are.

Anyway, I would like to see your photos and paintings of birds, or any kind of bird-related art, mostly to quell the feeling that I’m weird for having so many bird photos in my house. Send images to Make sure they are JPEGs and not too too large, nothing over 5 megabytes, and preferably smaller. I’ll post the most interesting entries in a week or two.
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